Shadows of Aris (Inactive)

Game Master Severed Ronin

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"The city of Ren has always dotted the landscape majestically, with its crystalline towers smiling upon many of the less-civilized kingdoms. From the Age of Tyranny to the Reign of the Paladin King to the present day, Ren has always stood as a beacon of light against the coming dark. Now it is the Era of Arcanum, with the Imperium leading Ren into an age of industry never before seen amongst the world of Aris. Under the Imperium, Ren continues to thrive, proving itself yet again to the realms."

"But a darkness has fallen over the world once again. An alliance of thieves, scoundrels, and rogue spellcasters has risen from the shadows to oppose the peace wrought by Imperial rule. Through intimidation, subterfuge, and political assassination, this alliance has developed into more than a simple nuisance, sowing seeds of rebellion in the smaller cities. Small pockets of resistance are even starting to crop up in the larger cities - Ren included."

"Amidst this dissidence, adventurers from all corners of Aris have come to Ren, summoned by the newly-appointed Chancellor of Justice, Aranor Baal. I have been summoned to these proceedings myself, charged with the record-keeping of their exploits and guiding them on their way. As Ren's foremost expert on all manner of legend and lore, I, Acheron Halcyon, consider this a request impossible for any bard in my position to refuse."

The Stairs of Council, a large staircase with exactly 1000 stairs leading up into the Grand Hall of the Arisan High Council, were an imposing sight to everyone that stood in front of them. The building itself rivaled in magnificence even that of the Imperial Palace. From the outside, its ivory walls, embedded with star tears, miniature crystals that shiny only at night, reflect the Soleil's warmth down onto those who marvel at its beauty. When dusk approaches, however, and the Heart of Natal rises, the star tears ignite, bathing the Grand Hall in an eerie yet breathtaking glow.

The sound of footfalls - distinctive of boots to stone - signal the ascent of heroes into the Grand Hall. The smell of blood, bile, ichor, and sulfur fill the Grand Hall for only the second time in history - the first being the War of the Gates when heroes, like those gathering within the Council House, were called to war for the first time under a unified Arisan banner. Armored boots clank against stone and robes sway to and fro as heroes walk fervently forward, entering the Hall of Councillors where gargantuan statues of Ren's past councillors stand, carved in rememberance of a history long forgotten by most outside these walls, directing those wandering its halls towards the Grand Council Chamber.

The entrance to this chamber is guarded by a massive door of gold and platinum - a door large enough to allow the passage of dragons and which at one point had. A hospitalier greets heroes as they enter, dictating to each that Chancellor Baal will take the stand soon. Around the room, armed guards of Ren patrol, keeping the peace amongst the varied adventurers present. No weapons ordances are in effect now as would be on most normal days. Emerging into the Grand Chamber, the first thing of notice is the black marble floor - sheened to such an extent that it mimics as a mirror, reflecting the identities of those who now grace its presence. Looking around, the chamber walls are decorated with tapestries depicting the history of Ren. These walls give way at various intervals to reveal alcoves where the Altheiri, master archers loyal to the Imperium, stand guard over the proceedings below, bowstrings at the ready and arrows nocked. At the far side of the chamber, five oversized thrones rest comfortably, signifying the seats of the five High Chancellors - the Chancellor of Justice included - who make the decisions that are for the good of Ren and its people.

Those heroes gathered take the time remaining before the Chancellor's speech to survey their surroundings and mingle with each other - sharing tales of epic derring-do and comparing battle scars both old and new.

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1

Draig wanted nothing to do with an Imperial city building. If it weren't for his orders to come to Ren, he would never be here.
Its not the city crime that bothers him, the "No weapons ordinances" sound more like a twisted joke. He didn't typically carry a weapon anyway, he didn't need one; the first brigands to draw steel on him wouldn't even have the gods to save themselves.

Draig had spent most of the day under subterfuge and even invisibility because of the city's law. He knew that if they captured him as a mage in the city, it would probably mean death.
He had heard the cities call shortly after he entered town, in one of the district squares. This was his chance to gain valuable information for Trydan, and even a little coin; or at least maybe a little revenge.

Even now he kept quiet and his face low to avoid unwanted attention. Content in looking interested in the conversations of those around him. The passage of time was slow and tense; with every minute more of his fear was replaced with resentment for the city of Ren.

There was a time, not so long ago, that Raignik had considered himself sane. He rarely made foolish decisions; uncommon were the number of occasions he felt the need to stick his hand out into an open flame, or taunt a snarling beast.
Yet here he was; in the heart of a sea of Imperium interests. Hand in the flame and nose to nose with a very cross metaphorical wolf.

Gazing up at the seven thrones at the head of the Grand Hall, Raignik could only shake his head in silence. Ren was a great Kingdom, if it wasn’t he wouldn’t be here. The call to all those patriotic or with adventure in their heart to serve the Kingdom was a strong one. While Raignik may have been a deserter of the Imperium, he did have a love for the Kingdom. His travels had shown him the beauty that can lie within it's stone walls and within in simple lives...a kind of beauty worth protecting. So he would do what he must.

With a sudden thrill of alarm, Raignik deftly stepped behind a large fellow in leathers to avoid the gaze of two Altheiri. He allowed himself a small laugh at his own expense. The Imperium was vast and his desertion years old, what are the odds they would still be searching for him? If indeed they were ever searching at all.

Shrugging his shoulders he meandered deeper into the crowded Hall, it was as though the same impulse to heed the call of the Chancellor, drew him further into the crowd.
Wearily Raignik cast one look up at the Altheiri, and then to the Thrones.
“I was sane once,” he murmured, “so this had better be worth a hand in the flame.”

With that last Raignik drew up one of his scarves to cover his nose. He never liked the smell of sulfur.

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1

An uncomfortableness crept through and tingled on his skin as he stood one among the crowd of so many. Draig wasn't used to imposing stone halls, or masses of people; each with their own kinds, creeds, and motives surrounding him.

Draig could feel the dread mixing in his stomach. He didn't expect to spend too long in this city without finding a fight, but there was a small army here, and a lot of mercenaries that looked stronger than regular guards or military goons.

Just leaving would not work either, he still owed a debt to Trydan; and needed information without getting executed by the mage hunters. He hoped to find someone like minded to talk to, not only to look less suspicious; but from the looks of things for the violence yet to come.

Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28

He had entertained the thought of ignoring the summons. Hell, he had embraced the idea, busying himself with other things; odd jobs here and there, hazy nights of drinking and bleary-eyed mornings. What was Ren to him now, after all? Just a sour reminder of a life spent in error. He had turned his back on the Imperial city long ago and saw little reason to reconsider.

Yet here he was, in the shadow of those massive doors, scowling at the greeter.

The stench hit him even before entering the hall, and for the last time he considered abandoning the whole affair. He had, he told himself, truly tried to ignore the councils summons. Yet each job he took brought him closer to Ren. He had told himself that it was nothing more than coincidence. It meant nothing. Whether he truly believed that, even he did not know. Arriving only this morning, an escort in the temporary employee of a traveling merchant, he had decided to at least take a look. And now, standing upon those steps he sighed, “Can’t fight fate.”

With that he entered the grand hall. He was at first surprised that no one had demanded his weapons be turned over. It’s not as if the large pick on his back would have been overlooked. But as his eyes adjusted to the light within he saw that many of those gathered bore arms. Interesting, at least. Scanning the room, he noted the archers, wandering guards and the currently unoccupied thrones. And a familiar face.

“I’d recognize those scrawny arms anywhere,” he said, clapping a meaty hand on Raignik’s shoulder.

At first contact Raignik’s hand automatically darted from his side to brush his sword hilt. The words spoken were mere fractions behind in registering and his consciousness was able to suppress an age-old instinct.

He turned to look up at the large man whom he used to call commander.
The first thing he noted, much to his surprise (more at himself for noticing) was that Marcy didn’t reek of alcohol. Of course it would be hard to say in truth, given the strong smells filling the room.

“It’s good to see you sir.” Raignik turned to face him, offering his fore-arm in greeting to his old friend, “I’ve been looking for a long time.” He suppressed the instinct to salute, his concerns about the Altheiri and other guardsmen still fresh on his mind.

Raignik gave pause, glancing at the large weapon his commander had. His eyes then fell to the others entering the room, and a man ghosting forward on a black cloak, mirrored in the floor— something about his motion caused Raignik’s hackles to rise. His free hand drifted back to rest upon the hilt of his sword, but he forced his eyes back to Marcy.

With one last quick check around the room Raignik leaned in and in a hushed voice added, “If you don’t mind me asking, what are you doing here sir? Rumor has it you left this kind of work.” Rumor had also spoken of a Mercenary who loosely fit Marcy’s description, but the world was vast and up until now it had all been vague hope to Raignik. Perhaps the rumors were true.

Male Human Cleric 7 [FC +7 hp]

He had given his prayers to his Goddess during the darkess hours of night. Secluded to darkness and mind at ease, he was one with night and he heard the his beloved Goddess whispering to his ears, teasing and cursing, demanding and praying, toying with his mind and he accepted it all. Vision and hallucinations were thrilling his senses and sight, telling of story or events in future... what might it be, he didn´t know. He would meet someone familiar face... and the gears of fate had begun to turn

The letter he had received and summoning him to attend to meeting of High Chancellors. Dressing and wearing his rope, made from the finest materials and colored in black, he was ready. His bag on his side, he begin to his journey towards meeting

Upon setting his steps inside the grand hall, he noticed two man already waiting. Altheiri, famous archers were standing ready with their bows. However, the thing which took his mind was the design and beauty of the room. The black marble floor was something, which looked exactly worthy for his Goddess. Reflection like finest mirror. He was blending to it. Where the floor ended and the man begin, was no easy to say, so perfectly did his robe blend with it.

Five oversized thrones just earned glanze from him as he saw them. Only fools would achieve something like that when the true terror and ruling was in the art of controlling someone mind and body... let them believe you and earn their trust than show your might be standing above them. Nevertheless, his eyes diverted from all of this as he paid his attention to men in grand hall. Vision occurred again, now pulse-like, something passed in his mind and went but for him, it seemed like the black marble floor was like ocean, weawing around and spirals were spreading under their legs to all direction...

And the wheel of fate has turned [Arwin spoke to air and walked towards the men

And back in business

"Lookin' for me?" Marcy grins at the thought. "The way I hear it the whole damned army's looking for you. You sure got some balls showing up here, kid."

Catching Raignik's gaze, Marcy turns to look at those entering the hall. He immediately picks out the cloaked figure heading their way. The man had the look of a religious type. Those were the worst in Marcy's experience; always with some cause or another. Give a man something worth dying for and they get a fair bit more dangerous, he thought. "Friend of yours?" he asks casually, turning his back to the approaching man to face Raignik again. His hand moved with thoughtless ease to the dagger hilt at his belt.

Raignik wrote:
"If you don’t mind me asking, what are you doing here sir?"

"That's a damned good question. Been asking myself the same thing." He pauses, apparently considering the question, or, perhaps, just debating whether any further answer was worth the effort. Finally, with a slight shake of his head, he adds, "Apparently Karone is f*cking with me again. But what about yourself? Taking a hell of a chance coming back here, aren't you?"

Raignik lowered his scarf and let a small wry smile crack his lips, after a wash of concern played across his features, “Perhaps Karone has her hands in more than we suspect.” He commented simply.

Marcy was right of course. Raignik's presence here was unwise… And perhaps to his old CO his nervousness showed-- he made an effort to sound relaxed, “And you never know…Old wounds can be forgotten.” Raignik knew from firsthand experience, the Imperium rarely forgot.

It was good to see Marcy again, and he had much he wished to discuss with the man. Questions he wanted answers to-- if Marcy left the service because he had grown tired of taking orders, tired of giving them…or because the guilt had grown too large. The questions swirled inside Raignik’s head and swam on the surface of his eyes.

But a crowded room full of imperial agents and strangers was not the spot to discuss such things. His gaze fell back upon the darkly garbed figure approaching them, “As for that one,” Raignik spoke in level tones, his eyes grown sharp, “No, I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure.” It became clear that whoever it was, was heading in their direction.

Human Inquisitor 7

Xandar stepped out of the shadows of the grand hall where he had been lurking. He swept across the room silently his footfalls soundless on the black marble floor. The air around him seemed to still as he passed, walking directly towards a group of adventurers exchanging introductions.

For one as young as he was there was an overwhelming intensity about him, the purposefullness of his stride, the intensity in his dark eyes displaying a sense of tremendous perspective one would not expect from one his age.

His eyes narrow at the sight of the dark priest his head inclining slightly as her comes to a stop near the group.

"May the shadows guard your steps." his voice a raspy half whisper.

Male Human Cleric 7 [FC +7 hp]

Slowly closing towards men, Arwin head and face shadowed, covered under the heavy hood. Coming closer as he reveals his hands to show nothing on them.

Stopping to front of them and raising his hands next to his hood, bringing it down. A face is revealed: short, black hair, perfect nose, characteristic of face little bit rough and blue eyes

Smiling and then opening his mouth to speak Nice to meet you, fellow men. My name is Arwin and just a humble man of gods. I have been summoned here by High Chancellors, apparently for some cause. Maybe because of my travelings and knowledge of the world, but I don´t see that as such a big credit to man like myself. May I assume that you also have been summoned here by them? If so, I hope we can come along and his smile reveals white teeth... while small black dot passes through his eyes and the aura around him is... strange

Male Human Cleric 7 [FC +7 hp]

Noticing the young man striding towards them with confidence and with ease. The sound or rather missing the sound of him walking showed him to be more experienced and look of predator. Time had passed since the last time he had seen him. Stopping close by and giving his greeting

Xandar Tru S'in wrote:

"May the shadows guard your steps."

Turning his head and looking at young man. Smiling, he speaks My the night be day to you and darkness consume your enemies as he completes the ritual.

Marcy looked at the ex-soldier skeptically, but not without a trace of humor. "Yeah, let by-gones be by-gones. That's the Imperium's motto all right," he remarked dryly. Perhaps he wasn't really being helpful. He could sense Raignik's anxiety, well hidden though it was. There was nothing to be done for that now, however. Either they would recognize the half-elf and take him away, or they wouldn't. No use worrying about it.

He was about to say something to that effect when the stranger arrived, and, as Marcy had feared, stopped to speak to them. He turned to face the newcomer with a resigned expression. As Arwin spoke, he used the time to appraise the man's appearance. Young. And short. Yet there was something unsettling about the man...

"Let's get one thing straight," Marcy said, when the cleric had finished his introduction. "We aren't interested in converting, or making any sort of donation to your church if that's where you're hoping to go with this. As to joining forces..." He left that thought hanging, noncommittally, and looked sidelong at his friend. He said nothing to Raignik, but the look in his eye spoke for him. Specifically, "Where do they find these people?"

Even as this thought crossed his mind another man approached their little group. The ex-ward turned his eye upon him. Another man of the cloth? Marcy was unsure, but at least this one looked like he had some muscle on him, young though he was.

A holy man… That would certainly explain his oddness. The way he spoke seemed to call for Raignik’s attention. Not the patterns or the oddness necessarily, but the ease. Here the man in black was in a room full of armed men, some righteous and others cut throat—completely unarmed. It boggled the mind… But Raignik had seen stranger certainly… And religious fervor could make a man confident just about nearly anything.

He glanced at Marcy but pushed the obvious question aside. He needed to know more about this man before agreeing to join forces.

“I’m afraid I didn’t get your name either Priest.” Raignik replied in soft tones. It didn’t seem that this man meant them any harm, but he couldn’t imagine why the Chancellor would summon a Priest to a call-to-arms (as that seemed to be what this was).

It was before Raignik could continue that they were joined by another-- A Younger man with a hunter’s stride, and a presence hard to ignore.

The young man greeted the priest in ritual.

But he seemed too young to be a man of the cloth…And indeed his presence too akin to a predator’s. But Raignik had been wrong before.

Rather than interrupt the meeting of these two Raignik fell to silence. Giving Marcy a barely visible shrug he moved his hand off of his sword. If these men were here to cause trouble they would have done so by now. Rarely do assassins open with pleasantries.

Openly looking around the room Raignik was starting to feel, for the first time at ease. With odd ones such as these around perhaps the guardsmen wouldn't have time to look for an old deserter.

Indeed, it seemed that much bigger things were brewing.

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1

Draig couldn't help but notice how badly he stood out. Ren is a human city, it looked like a human city and it smelled like a human city. And here he was, at what appeared to be a call to arms; unarmed.
As he searched the crowd he began to feel that any moment someone would call out the "dandelion eater" or "point-ear", and it might be hard to pose as a archer without a bow...
Thats when Draig caught sight of someone that was not only an outsider, but also as out of place as he was; and best of all obviously not an imperialist.
The squattiest Dwarf he had ever seen, right off the road like he was; armed and armored to the teeth.

"I'm Draig, and I came here from Kri."
Smiles and shows a hand in greeting
"Well met fellow traveler, I assume you too have come here alone?"

Male Human Cleric 7 [FC +7 hp]

Looking at the man who speaks to him. Older than him and for surely taller. Listening calmly his speaking and smiling as he came to talk about converting and donation. Keeping his face passive and not letting emotion show, Arwin locked his eyes to this man and just watched intensively and let him finish talking. Not commenting anything for a while, but then breaking the silence and laughing Ahah, well indeed. Do not fear, I am not here to convert or to ask for donation. Merely to talk and chat as I was invited. However, some of the people have heard the call of my... Goddess you may say, but never I force them to it. They all come in their own... good believe and is welcomed with open arms. Nevertheless, that is that and this is this. and as he answers while smiling, not everything was told or the meaning was somehow vague

Standing and waiting for the High Chancellors to come and finally tell why they were summoned here, Arwin looks curiously at men Oh, I never heard your name or your friend. I apologize for my intrusion, but I would like to know more about people, who might be my companion later. The world is vast and it never harm you to know more Bowing little bit and nodding his head, the darkness seemed to be deeper or his shadow seemed to be moving, but who knows

Male Human Cleric 7 [FC +7 hp]

Turning his eyes to man, who had asked his name Hm... I suppose it was noisy here, since already told my name to your friend, but it won´t harm me second time. Arwin, humble servant of the Goddess. My skills lays on merely conversation, knowledge of the various subjects and things, whether it was astrology, nature, geography or something else. Somekind scholar you could say as he releases small laugh but guiding lost souls back to Her gentle arms. Speaking in merry-tune and chatting away, but something deeper meanings passes through his words.

Human Inquisitor 7

Xandar chuckles at Arwin's words and nods to the others in greeting.

"Xandar Tru St`in. Well met gentlemen."

The room began to divide amongst itself as strangers came together from all walks of life. Amidst the aromas blending together in the air, old allies were reunited and new bonds of friendship were formed. It becomes noticeably quieter in the room as conversations begin to die down. All laughter and bemusement seems to soften as the large gong of a bell supercedes the dialogue present in the Grand Hall. As all heads turn towards the source, five individuals step forward into sight upon the podium. Only four of them proceed to seat themselves. The fifth one remains standing.

"Trusted patriots of the lands of Aris - many of you are probably wondering why a grand summons was issued from this council to all citizens of this land. Many of you have come of your own accord, this is true. Some of you have come in regards to the 100,000 Gold Pieces offered for assistance. Some of you have come out of the sheer patriotism in your hearts, a much nobler cause in the grand scheme of things. I will bring haste to my words though, friends, for I do not wish to waste valuable time."

"The kingdom of Ren is in peril. Enemies from within seek to tear down its precious walls and burn its lands. Traitorous vagabonds are inciting rebellion amongst our fair people and they are attempting to amass an army capable of destroying the republic we have spent so many hundreds of years building. This new enemy has no face. This new enemy has no name. This new enemy is dangerous beyond all recognition. This is why myself and the other Chancellors decided to send out a call-to-arms to all adventurers. Whether you have come for gold, glory, or honor, you have come. For that alone, the Council and us Chancellors extend the greatest gratitude awarded to guardians of Ren. We are asking you to risk your very lives in service to your kingdom and its people. We are asking you to solve the mystery of this rebellion. We are asking you to discover that which we could not. We are asking you to do the honorable thing."

"Some of you in here may not be as honorable. Some of you could very well be the enemies we are fighting so hard against. If you are, know this, the free nations of Ren and its neighboring allies will not go silently into the night! We will not give in to tyranny and the fear that you breed with your lies. We will fight and we will win!"

Many in the crowd cheer for their High Chancellor. Many agree.

"Those who accept this most epic of quests will be accomodated and the one who captures the leader of the rebellion and turns him over to Imperial authorities within the Arisan High Command will be rewarded beyond their wildest imaginations. Those who seek to accept this daring task may do so from just outside these walls where the Imperial Hunter's Guild has set a kiosk housing the Writs necessary for the given task. Thank you."

And with that the High Chancellor turns and takes his seat. Immediately the hall explodes with more conversations - all of them focusing on the turn of events. Talks of wealth and riches. Talks of fame and glory. Talks of simply having a challenge. Each man in the Hall now has a reason all his own to take up arms against this resistance.

The truth has come out and now the Imperium, a symbol of all that is diplomatic in an ever-changing world, has no choice but to turn their trust over to mercenaries and thrill-seekers. The promises they are offering though are far too much for anyone to refuse. It would be hard for me to refuse. It is hard for our heroes, now allied together, to refuse. Though each have their own reasons, they will soon discover that Karone has a destiny for everyone.

Stump was awestruck by the structure he stood in, sure he had seen plenty of impressive structures, it was part of his blood after all to craft impressive works from the smallest jewelery to the largest citadel. He knew some humans liked to be flashy but this was beyond what he expected, he grinned.
"Have to bring a story about this back home."

Stumps musings of the great hall were cut short by the sudden introduction of what appeared to be a pair of legs with hands at first glance.

Draig Tywod wrote:

"I'm Draig, and I came here from Kri."
Smiles and shows a hand in greeting
"Well met fellow traveler, I assume you too have come here alone?"

Leaning back a bit Stump realizes the newcomer to be an elf.

"Ooooh an elf, well lad I haven't seen one of your kind for some time, where have you all been hiding now haha."
He grips the strangers hand firmly and gives it a hard shake.
"Stumps the name and fighting's my game, when I'm not enjoying the finer things in life such as wonderful craftsmanship that is. And aye lad that I have, though it appears I'm not the only one feeling a bit lonely eh"
He lets out a rough chuckle.

“My apologies Priest Arwen, perhaps my hearing isn’t what it used to be.” Raignik inclined his head as a sign of respect. It was becoming apparent to Raignik that this priest had his own agenda. He reminded him greatly of a man who was in on a very special secret. Perhaps he knew something about the Rebels that apparently plagued the country. “I cannot say I’ve traveled with a Priest before, but perhaps it is time for a change,” giving it some thought Raignik decided to hold out his hand in a gesture of friendship for the man (he was not well versed in proper conduct with holy men).

With a small release of breath he decided to take a chance albeit in a lowered voice, “My name is Raignik Al-N’Gaseer. Currently a mercenary by trade...My skills…vary…Suffice to say I’m useful in a fight, and not useless out of one.”

If Karone wanted him dead, all it would take would be for the wrong ears to hear the right name… now would be her time to strike.

In lieu of the recent proclamation made however, Raignik doubted anyone was listening.

Marcy took a short draw on his wine skin and scrutinized those around him. It appeared that Raignik was making friendly with the priest rather quickly. This drew a curious look from Marcy. Too quick to trust, he thought. Or perhaps it was himself, too slow to trust. Well, caution was a hard-learned lesson. Putting his trust in others had bitten him in the ass as often as not, and he was slow to put himself in such a spot now if it could be helped. He had, of course, worked with strangers before. But protecting a caravan from inept highwaymen was one thing. This was sounding like serious business here. Trusting in some fool priest you had just met could be seriously bad for your life expectancy. But at least the man wasn’t pushy with his faith like so many of his ilk tended to be. One point in his favor. Neither was he timid. Okay, two points then. And, he admitted reluctantly, in his time with the military he had witnessed first hand what some of these religious types were capable of.

“Marcy,” he said resignedly, by way of introduction. He looked the priest in the eye as he offered a brief handshake. There was something off in that man’s gaze, he noted. He could sense it (or was he imagining it) but couldn’t put his finger on it. Giving the other man, Xandar, a non-comittal nod, the ex-soldier turns his attention to the podium. "And here we go," he said, seeing the High Chancellor take the stage.

Marcy listened to the speech in stoic silence. His face was an emotionless mask, by and large. Only at the mention of ‘honor’ did his brow arch slightly. They loved to speak of honor, he knew. Even as they stripped the freedom from innocent civilians and carted them off to undeserved judgment they spoke of it. And a soldier would do nearly anything for a bit of colored ribbon. The gods knew he had. But honor was a pipe dream, and that particular drug no longer worked on him..

Coins, on the other hand… 100,000 would buy a hell of a lotta good times. Or a fair bit of peace and quiet, for that matter. Also, he knew the need for adventure was in his blood. This was something he no longer bothered to deny. Yet another addiction, he mused.

As the speech drew to a conclusion and the conversation of the crowd began to swell around him, he took a few moments to peruse the crowd, gaging reactions of those nearby. Judging by the looks of the motley crew gathered here, the Imperium must be getting desperate. Hell, even there was even a dwarf - talking with an elf, no less. Marcy shook his head and laughed to himself.

"Well, that was a fine speech," he said to the small group that had gathered near at hand, making no effort to disguise either his sarcasm or the touch of bitterness in his voice.

Male Human Cleric 7 [FC +7 hp]

Listening the speech and not showing emotion, Arwin had alot to think. With these promises, he had the chance to advance and change, even to shape this nation as he wished! The visions had grown stronger in recent years, but he didn´t have enough strenght, power or wisdom yet to understand them all oompletely. This chance was once in a lifetime... he could not let it pass

Seeing Raignik little bit hesitate and then offering his hand to shake, something he didn´t expect but then world was full of people who didn´t have same amount of knowledge or experience. Arwin smile getting bigger and firmly grapping to hand and shaking it Nice to meet you Raignik. Oh, and please, Arwin is just fine enough with me. Formalities are left for business or in this case, talking with gods or someone is asking for audience. I have no intention to preach... at least not yet as he made the small joke and small laugh escaped his lips

Noticing the gaze of other person and his way of judgin him, Arwin didn´t pay attention to it. Many did the same thing and regretted it later, since he one with darkness. Those who stare in the deepest tunnel... have to expect that someone might be watching back. Turning to him and accepting his handshake and just saying his name. Looking at his eyes and smiling Nice to meet you, Mercy. There is need for many people... and everyone have their purpose. Releasing hands and looking now well to both of them. They seemed to be seasonal warriors and both of them had this taint... hard to say what, but he was not to be fooled. He knew it the moment he saw them. The "night" had fallen. A small, almost unnoticeable grin appearing slowly to his face, he was enjoying this.

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1

Static electricity prickled on Draig's body, the speech might as well of spoken directly against him. For them to say that HE was dishonorable, for what they did to him...

There where more important things to do right now, and any rash action would surely mean his death instead of his revenge.

He could make allies or coin from this, and keep the dragon satisfied. He just had to go along for now...

Stump Weradin wrote:

"Ooooh an elf, well lad I haven't seen one of your kind for some time, where have you all been hiding now haha."

He grips the strangers hand firmly and gives it a hard shake.
"Stumps the name and fighting's my game, when I'm not enjoying the finer things in life such as wonderful craftsmanship that is. And aye lad that I have, though it appears I'm not the only one feeling a bit lonely eh"
He lets out a rough chuckle.

"Dwarves are good traders, we saw many cities in the travels on our caravan. Elves however tend to be more secluded, and pickier about who they let in; its good for us though..."

Now looking uncomfortable from the speech
"It sounds like we are in for a trip, I'm not sure where this is going; but I doubt it will go without violence. You don't look like an imperial, so I think you would make a better partner; and we can make a good sum of gold from this."
Smiles a bit and relaxes
"How about we work together, watch each others backs in the field.
We both have skills valuable to each other, so as a team we can not only make it out alive; but mutually benefit."

Male Dwarf Two-Handed Fighter (Alternate Class Feature) / 7

Stump couldn't sit still through the speech, although he could hear it well enough he could not for the life of him tell who was speaking.

If they are going to give us some long winded speech, the least they could do is make sure we can see the blasted fools.
Clearly Stump was the only one actually having the problem, but he didn't see it that way.

Draig Tywod wrote:

"Dwarves are good traders, we saw many cities in the travels on our caravan. Elves however tend to be more secluded, and pickier about who they let in; its good for us though..."
Now looking uncomfortable from the speech
"It sounds like we are in for a trip, I'm not sure where this is going; but I doubt it will go without violence. You don't look like an imperial, so I think you would make a better partner; and we can make a good sum of gold from this."
Smiles a bit and relaxes
"How about we work together, watch each others backs in the field.
We both have skills valuable to each other, so as a team we can not only make it out alive; but mutually benefit."

Stumps face grew bright as an impossibly large smile grew from side to side of his face.

Oh ho, someone sounds eager, now that's the kind of enthusiasm I like to hear. Talk is for those who are either unwilling or unable to do what they speak of for themselves, and there seems to be far too much of it these days. Now I believe a celebration is in order, now where is the vendor with the mead.

Stump begins looking around hurriedly for the alcohol he is convinced there must be.

Raignik smiled wryly at Marcy's tone. "It may have it's share of pomp but the plea for help was real,"

He turned to regard Arwin--their new companion. "As you will... Arwin. You'll have to tell me sometime exactly what church you're a part of. I'd like to learn more about you as we travel...If indeed we will be traveling."

Raignik's eyes drifted as he said the last, he spied what he thought must have been a child.

A rather strong muscular armor with a shaved head and large beard. Raignik drew quiet in stunned silence. His mind processed the information abnormally slow.

It was...a Dwarf? That was certainly uncommon. "You best put away your wineskin Marcy." Raignik commented lightheartedly gesturing towards the stocky dwarf who appeared to be in search of something.

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1

"I've looked and I am quite sure there is no..."

...and there he goes, he is going to get himself lost in a forest of torsos. And I still need a business partner to look legitimate.

As the Chancellors all rose to leave, the mass of bodies began moving outside - all eager to partake in the promised reward. Outside, an elaborate kiosk must have been set up during the time the heroes gathered inside and whilst the Chancellor spoke. A large stand decorated with the Sigil of the Hunter and the customary red-and-gold of the Hunter's Guild had been set up and folks began to crowd around it. Numerous stands in fact had been set up, each the same size and proportion as the last.

Out front of these stands stood Hunters who began passing out Writs like candy. A few of the writs drift off the tabletops and float near the heroes. Picking them up and examining reveals their nature.

The writs speak of the Resistance and its possible allies - it even included the Marivelli Tower in Ren where many Imperial spellcasters were known to frequent. It also speaks of an area outside of Ren, a small cavern located near Lake Meronia where known members of the Resistance have been seen.

As the heroes gather, bards flock, seeking to become famous from the telling of these heroes soon-to-be legends. They each come with their different motives, but it is the commonality within these motives that make them so vital to the lands of Aris.

Male Human Cleric 7 [FC +7 hp]

Indeed Raignar. All in time and that we have for now. I would say that the speech was splendid. Interesting what you can do with so many gold pieces and honor, of course, depending on each person goal here as he looks around, the wrist are flying towards them.

Taking a glance at wrist, noticing the writing of Marivelli Tower and something about Lake Meronia, Arwin shake his head but small smile appears as he imagines... the people joining his Goddess.

Ignoring the bards and keeping little bit behind of crowds, Arwin keep his eyes open and soon notices smaller figure going around... and other taller one, little bit more sideway from smaller one and trying to keep lower profile. Interesting Arwin thought but remained on his place and kept watch to see any other interesting individual

Arwin Hollower wrote:
Nice to meet you, Mercy. There is need for many people... and everyone have their purpose.

"Generally," Marcy replied vaguely. Karone certainly had her designs, but Marcy had no idea what they might be. They weren't exactly on speaking terms. But he would go ahead and play the pawn; at least for now. It would certainly give him something to take his mind off of his life, such as it was. And it would be nice to work with Raignik again.

Raignik wrote:
"You best put away your wineskin Marcy."[i] Raignik commented lightheartedly gesturing towards the stocky dwarf who appeared to be in search of something.

"Aye, I saw him. Even for a dwarf he's been a bit short-changed in the height department." He chuckled softly at his own unintended pun and put his wineskin back on his belt. Following the crowd outside, he thought to himself, "Let's see what this is all about exactly."

Managing to grab up one of the writs Marcy studied it for a moment. Stay here in Ren, or head to Lake Meronia... Well, that was an easy enough choice. "Well," he said, looking at Raignik, and the two men of god (which 'god' they hadn't gotten to the bottom of just yet), "If we're going to be traveling together - now that we're all best friends and all - I suppose we aught to take a vote." Somehow the idea of a vote seemed distasteful to the ex-ward. When it came to work, which is how he saw this, he was not very used to the democratic process. Times have changed, he told himself. "As for me, I say we get the hells out of this town. And if we do agree to head south, to this 'small cavern', we might think about enlisting that dwarf over there. Caves and dwarves go together like wine and women." Plus, he thought, I could use a drinking partner.

Male Human Cleric 7 [FC +7 hp]

Turning his gaze back to Marzy, Arwin was amused. Out of the town and to lake area and seeing the tunnels. Arwin liked the idea as he looked around. Too many people and since another place is closer, everyone for surely will go there, so we take advantage and go out... also chance to see how these people perform and what they truly are

Turning gaze back to dwarf while speaking to others Indeed. I agree, we are better out and seeing surroundings than in the middle of huge crowd. Help of dwarf is also good thinking, I agree since they are the best ones in tunnels. and chuckles wine and women... indeed they are good, but then I always had one woman in my life and wine, well, she never forbid me from drinking but I can admit that wine in rare times... is really rare delicacy while watching people praying for the Goddess

Male Dwarf Two-Handed Fighter (Alternate Class Feature) / 7
Draig Tywod wrote:

"I've looked and I am quite sure there is no..."

Oh don't be silly lad, at these kinds of events they always have some sort of refreshment.

Marcy "Lucky" Lull wrote:
He chuckled softly at his own unintended pun and put his wineskin back on his belt. Following the crowd outside, he thought to himself, "Let's see what this is all about exactly."

Stump spotted a tall muscular human with the obvious look of a warrior about him, but more importantly a wineskin on his belt.

Ah ha, now if he doesn't have the look of a proveyor of fine drink then I don't know who does. You best keep up lad. Motioning to Draig Wouldn't want to be the one to start rumors of an elf who couldn't keep up with a dwarf, Hah.

He moved swiftly, with renewed purpose, following the tall human outside.

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1

The wind was fair enough to bring him a writ by a short breeze.

He wished he had known about the tower, before the rabble of opportunists where descending upon it. Staying inside the city quickest way to accomplish much; he could get info, money, friends, and get killed...
Many trustworthy allies where needed to attempt that, and stump has disappeared somewhere in the throng.

Then theres the untrained mob wondering into the wilderness to get lost in a cave somewhere... but it would be the best place to go if he needed to escape from mage hunters.

1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20 perception

Raignik regarded the writ Marcy held, and eyed it over briefly.

Marcy wrote:
"If we're going to be traveling together - now that we're all best friends and all - I suppose we aught to take a vote."

The idea didn't jump with appeal to Raignik. "I've never been much for voting Sir." He said with a shrug.

Raignik looked about at the guards keeping an eye on the bustling crowd, "But if it's all the same--I agree, it might be best to head out to the Cave. Everyone and their cousin will be storming Marivelli Tower for information..." He cleared his throat, "My point being, if we stay here we'll have to get lucky....We travel to the caves we'll just have to be fast."

Raignik shifted his wieght in anticipation--recalling the feeling of a forced march or hunting down fleeing mages,
"And I can do fast sir."

Raignik turned to keep an eye on the Dwarf approaching their growing group.

Holy men, a dwarf and two old soldiers. Not the worst group he'd ever been around. Who else might join up, Karone only knew.

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1

Catching up to Stump, Draig found him with four men. two cloaked men under hoods, faces hidden. Standing between them was what looked like an old mercenary, and a uniformed solider; both clearly veterans of combat.


The group stood out among many others, and that could be good or bad depending on their nature...

"Have you had a chance to see this? I'd like to get out of town before someone in this crowd gets a bad idea, we might avoid complications if we hurry."

Human Inquisitor 7

As notable as his presence was before Xandar seems to almost fade into the background, almost surprising those he assembles with when he enters their field of vision.

Male Dwarf Two-Handed Fighter (Alternate Class Feature) / 7

Stump approached the human he had been following, with outstretched arms and a wide grin.

Friend! This is a celebration, and a celebration calls for good drink. Would you would care to join me in such, alas I seem to be without, perhaps you might be inclined to share your bounty with a fellow warrior. Or at least direct me to a vendor where I might obtain my own.
He bellowed in a rough voice
But where are my manners, the name is Stump, Stump Weradin, Master of the blade, carnoisseur of fine drink and I have even been known to craft a few things from time to time.
He turns back toward Draig
And this concerned fellow is my new friend Draig who was convinced there would be no drink to be had but I knew otherwise.

Draig Tywod wrote:


"Have you had a chance to see this? I'd like to get out of town before someone in this crowd gets a bad idea, we might avoid complications if we hurry."

Stump notices Draig with a concered look on his face.

Whats got you so worked up?

Raignik wrote:
"My point being, if we stay here we'll have to get lucky....We travel to the caves we'll just have to be fast."

Marcy nodded, his gaze going from Raignik to the guards and back again. "Good point. And the sooner we put this town behind us, the better I'll feel about it." With a curious look from Raignik to the elf, Draig, he added,"The better several of us will feel, I think." The elf had a story to tell. That much was sure. We'll have to get to the bottom of that sooner than later, he thought.

As the dwarf arrived, a small storm of sound and smiles, Marcy couldn't hide his grin. "Connoisseur of fine drink, is it?" he chuckled. Looking at Raignik he added, "Always loved these damned dwarves. They know how to prioritize." Pulling one of the two wine skins he carried on his belt, Marcy passed it to the small warrior. "I wouldn't call it 'fine', but in a pinch..."

Taking a look at the odd group they were seemingly coalescing into, the grin slowly faded from Marcy's eyes, replaced with a more thoughtful expression that was hard to classify. Finally, his gaze settling upon Xander, he said, "You're a quiet one." There was, perhaps, a bit of suspicion in his tone.

Raignik cast an appraising eye over the informally introduced Draig. There was a smell about him...but it wasn't one Raignik could pin. Not a fighting man though, that was for certain.
Raignik relaxed a bit. He payed no great attention to the dwarf, save a polite nod as he introduced himself, and then a small chuckle at Marcy's words.

"That they do sir." He commented noncommittally. Drinking wasn't Raignik's vice. But to each their own.

Raignik was turning his attention back to the elf, Draig and was about to ask the man's profession--until Marcy's voice cut him off.

Marcy wrote:
"You're a quiet one."

Raignik turned to regard Xandar, his sword arm tensing and relaxing reflexively. Marcy would have barred steel if he thought Xandar posed a real threat--and surely nothing would happen in such a crowded place.

But stranger things had happened.

Instead of focusing his attention on Xandar Raignik kept a sideways eye on the Priest known as Arwin. If these two holy men were in on something together--they wouldn't be getting the drop on anyone today.

Raignik suddenly felt a cold tinge of anxiety sink through his chest. There was too much going on for him to feel comfortable with. The Dwarf would have been a perfect distraction for a trap sprung by the all-too silent priests. Not to mention any other accomplices in the crowd.

But Raignik had grown paranoid over his years on the run. Perhaps...perhaps just weary, perhaps just cautious.

He would hold his tongue until Xandar responded to Marcy. But he felt the overwhelming need to state the obvious.

Their current location--even if everyone present be friends...was not very secure.

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1
Stump Weradin wrote:

No lad, but I expect it has something to do with that big fancy speech those high and mighty's gave in there. Whats got you so worked up?

"It's... nothing, I'd just like to beat the rush."

"My apologies for the disturbance, my friend and I are just headed up to have a look at Lake Meronia. You didn't look like regular imperial guards, we didn't mean to interfere in your work."

Male Dwarf Two-Handed Fighter (Alternate Class Feature) / 7
Marcy "Lucky" Lull wrote:
As the dwarf arrived, a small storm of sound and smiles, Marcy couldn't hide his grin. "Connoisseur of fine drink, is it?" he chuckled. Looking at Raignik he added, "Always loved these damned dwarves. They know how to prioritize." Pulling one of the two wine skins he carried on his belt, Marcy passed it to the small warrior. "I wouldn't call it 'fine', but in a pinch..."


Remarked Stump as he accepted the wineskin and took a deep drink
Fine is fine my good man, we all know the only difference between good drink is the amount of it and how quickly it gets you drunk.
Wiping the liquid from his mouth as he spoke

Draig Tywod wrote:

"It's... nothing, I'd just like to beat the rush."

"My apologies for the disturbance, my friend and I are just headed up to have a look at Lake Meronia. You didn't look like regular imperial guards, we didn't mean to interfere in your work."

Aye lad don't you worry, I guarantee whatever got this kingdoms panties in a bunch won't be something getting solved over night. Although I wouldn't mind seeing these so called caves that little piece of paper speaks of.

He says with a slight pause and a spark of anticipation as he takes another swig of ale

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1

@ Stump
"Here, have a look."
Hands Stump the parchment
"There is also Marivelli Tower, but mages aren't my first choice of foes; especially if they know a fight is coming and they have had time to prepare.
Looks again at the men standing in front of him
"...And if half the things I've heard about wizards are true, I'd rather take on the unknown any day."

Male Human Cleric 7 [FC +7 hp]

Stepping forward and getting little bit closer now to party, Arwin smiles as he widens his arms to show not having weapons, mainly for the new people, as well to be friendly.

New people joining our small group? This is rather odd day I would say. Many of us meeting first time, but the fate seems to bring us together. Good day my friends, Arwin is my name and humble servant of Goddess

Sudden realisation of new comer behind the dwarf, Arwin look at him and his gaze judging the man, but soon disappearing as walking towards him Wizards you say? Yes, rather funny folks, staying in their tower and studying the art of forbidden without permission... or not being part of Imperial. How should one feel about that is up to each other

Looking at Draig, thoughs passes Arwin mind but not saying anythig, he nods Draig was it, you are rather weary of this yes? Normal here, I would say, since lot of people of course are trying to gain fame. I agree that outside is better. Wizards can be rather... annoying with their spells, but I have learned that all is needed to not let them sleep

Human Inquisitor 7

"I tend to keep my eyes open and my mouth closed, I save my words for when they matter."

The young man meets his challenger's eyes with unnerving calm, a trace of a smile on his face.

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1

There was that uncomfortableness again, it must be the city...
The thought of the wizards wasnt helpful either, but welcomed compared to what he was afraid of.
@ Arwin
"Yes, I'm Draig, it looks like you have met Stump."
motioning to the drinking dwarf
"So you are a man of the church, and not of the city?"
"Are you missionaries, soldiers, or treasure seekers?"

Marcy returned Xanders gaze for a long moment. "Wise enough," he said at last, his inflection flat and non-committal.

Turning away from the strange man, Marcy looked over their small group again. An odd lot, to say the least. Some of them certainly held no love for the Imperium. That was good, as far as he was concerned. But a few... Xandar for one. And the other priest, Arwin... The last thing they needed was some Imperial zealots mucking up the works. Damned priests, anyway. Well, they would almost certainly have the chance to show their mettle soon enough. He'd been on enough sorties to know how that went. And if, by chance, they turned out to be the wrong sort... accidents happened.

"Well, aside from our friend of few words here," he said, indicating Xandar, "we seem to be in agreement. A little holiday at the Lake."

Rubbing the back of his neck and swiveling his head around in a wide circle (accompanied by several audible popping sounds), Marcy spared a brief, arched-brow look at Stump. "What say we pass that skin around, Master of the blade Stump. No use fighting along side someone you never shared a bottle with, I say. Or a skin, in this case."

Male Dwarf Two-Handed Fighter (Alternate Class Feature) / 7
Marcy "Lucky" Lull wrote:
"What say we pass that skin around, Master of the blade Stump. No use fighting along side someone you never shared a bottle with, I say. Or a skin, in this case."

Aye agreed, wouldn't trust a man to hold a sword that wouldn't drink.

Passing the wineskin back to Marcy

Male Human Cleric 7 [FC +7 hp]

Nodding along the speaking of Draig Yes, but I would be nothing of that. I am just a shepherd and scholar of great beyond, researching and finding out causes as well reason behind everything. Many things have disappeared from this world and its a shame as sad look appears to Arwin face and he looks through Draig, past him like fallen to his own thoughs... and so disappeared so many secrets to darkness, but I shall find them bring them to me. Shadows shall guard the secrets and learn them. They will all learn when the night falls and blinds these fools thoughs passes his mind

Coming back to his senses and looking at others and dwarf Agreed. A small cup of wine is not bad idea. This is sure a moment to celebrate. and to answer your guestion Draig directly than wishy-washing, I am cleric, a servant of my Goddess and not anyone else. That's my purpose and goal and shrugs. Turning and gazing at others, Arwin looks at Xandar, moves little bit out of others vision as he motions with his lips to Xandar

These men are more dangerous and experienced than they look... and this one is not a human and not speaking about dwarf. There is something odd about them and I see them... to be ones in my visions. However, eyes open and clear. We might one day need to dispatch them
and deep grin appears to his face

Male Half-elf Sorcerer 1 / Oracle 1

They are all drinking from it, and nothings wrong with Stump yet. Poison isn't Imperium's style, they would of gone a direct approach; but robbers might...
"I suppose I can try a little..."
Removes a small cup from inside his jacket
"As a cleric, you would understand if I consecrate my sip before my elven god?"
There was too much he didn't know about the dark priest and acolyte, but anything was better than Imperium.
"I don't think I got all your names yet, to who should I drink to?"

"Raignik Al-N'Gaseer," he said addressing the elf Draig, "Former soldier." Raignik may have decided using him name was safe, as the crowd buzzed loudly, but there was no reason to blabber his entire...sorted history.

He was all in all a little more disturbed after listening to the priest Arwin speak with the others. The man had a calm and confidence about him that was curiously unsettling. He let his expression become a resigned one and shrugged. 'the devil you know'...

He decided to keep a close eye on the young Xandar. Their travels would be long and while the priest waved himself about, Xandar simply faded away. He hadn't noticed it himself, if it weren't for Marcy the entire affair would have slipped by Raignik...perhaps after it was too late.

He would keep an eye on him for this reason and because Raignik saw something in himself in the man. Silent, watching.

Raignik knew that could make for someone who is very dangerous indeed.

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